Moving into the territory of six chord songs, now we have another minor to add to our playing. The I (C major), the ii (D minor), the iii (E minor), the IV (F major), the V (G major), and the vi (A minor) are now all apart of our music vocabulary! Of course with this extra minor we are often going to be dealing with songs that are going to be a little more on the serious side. Love, loss, introspection, and sadness are much easier to express with the addition of the D minor chord.
Barrè tip:If you find difficult playing the F major chord with full barrè (133211) you can always play it like this: XX3211
In the hit movie There's Something About Mary, the musician Jonathon Richman is a part of a Greek chorus, the purpose being to comment on the action occurring
in the play or movie. With this
great song he explains the plot of the movie and gets you tapping your foot at the same time! Despite its melancholy vibe, this tune is actually fun and always a crowd pleaser. Before playing
this song practice playing just E minor to D minor back and forth, this will be the intro and segue into the rest of the tune.
Peter Sarstedt was a one hit wonder back in 1969 with this song. The 2007 Wes Anderson film The Darjeeling Limited used his tune bringing him back into the
limelight briefly. He recently passed
away (in January 2017) so it only seems fitting to include this gem on our list. This traditional sounding folk tune/love song is easy for any guitar player who knows these chords.
Of course we always come back to the Beatles , the album titled after this song was released a month after they broke up. Despite being recorded while the band was
disintegrating this is
definitely one of their best known songs. Interestingly you will find this song listed in four chord song lists, especially because the main verse follows the Axis of Awesome chord progression.
However, adding the D minor into the end of the words "let it be" really makes the song all the better. This is a good example of how some songs can be played simply, yet are
enhanced as we
learn our chords.
Many listeners wonder if this famous Bob Dylan song was written about Edie Sedgwick, one of the members of Andy Warhol's group in the 60's.
It’s one of Dylan’s most famous songs, and like much
of his early work, not too hard to play. Ironically the record company representing him at the time almost didn’t release it because it had a "heavy electric" sound. Hearing that now seems
pretty crazy, but it was a big deal when he went electric.
Recorded by the British rock band Whitesnake, this song is on many 80’s greatest hits lists. It works great for an acoustic or electric guitar, remember to always play the
chorus much louder and
harder than the verse!
One of the interesting factoids about this Albert Hammond song is that the band playing in the back ground was the Wrecking Crew. For anyone truly interested in
rock history if you haven’t heard
of the Wrecking Crew, read the link above, these session musicians contributed to so many songs it is quite amazing! They were the best of the best when it came to being a musician.
This hit by Chad and Jeremy has that perfect summertime vibe. It’s uplifting yet reminiscent of a lost summer romance. A great example of how the addition of multiple minor
chords can really
change the mood of song. Notice the verse is all in the major chords and only in the chorus do we hear the minor, an interesting contrast.
This song is a personal favorite of mine, I find it to be a great acoustic song to play at coffee shop gigs. It was released on Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album in 1966. It
rather quickly so it will take some practice, but in the end it is well worth it!
This song by Simon and Garfunkel reportedly took over 100 hours to record and produce! Using such instruments as pedal steel guitar and piccolo trumpet, it is a masterpiece.
Once you know the
basic six chords in the Key of C you can make your own beautiful renditions of this on acoustic guitar (there is a Dm7 thrown in there, just to keep you on your toes!). A version of this song
was recently played on the radio show Prairie Home Companion and is worth a listen!
After including many Beatles songs on our past lists, it's only right to have one sung by Ringo Starr! This is of course a well known Beatles song that everyone can sing along
too! I end the
list with this song to show that minor chords don’t always have to be sad sounding.
- Easy Songs with 4 chords (C, G, Am, F)
- Easy Songs with 5 chords (C, G, Am, F, Em)
- 276 Guitar Chords Ebook - Free download
- Interactive Chords Finder useful to learn thousands of fingerings
In the last article of this lesson series, we will see how our possibility can expand by adding 2 new chords, Eb and Bb.
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